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Club Events under the COVID Traffic Light System

When running events, all clubs and societies have a strong responsibility to keep themselves, the venue staff, and the attendees safe.

If you have questions about any of the following information, feel free to reach out to the UCSA clubs team via clubs@ucsa.org.nz or 03 369 0555 and select prompt 1, prompt 1. We’re here to help and very happy to give advice and guidance!

To see the latest on the COVID Protection Framework direct from the government – make sure to visit covid19.govt.nz.

Event or Gathering?

In line with advice from the Government, there remains the ability for clubs to differentiate between Gatherings and Events under the Traffic Light System.

If your club is running a gathering that meets the definition of a Gathering then you can follow those requirements instead of the Event requirements.

What is a Gathering?

A gathering is informal and involves getting together with friends and whānau you regularly socialize with.

Gatherings can include:

  • catching up with friends and whānau
  • weddings and civil union ceremonies
  • faith-based gatherings, for example church services
  • get-togethers and parties at your home or private dwelling
  • club functions
  • social sports
  • street parades
  • free public concerts in a park
  • community fairs
  • funerals and tangihanga.

What are Gathering Restrictions at each setting?

Gathering Held IndoorsGathering Held Outdoors
RedUp to 200 people (based on 1m distancing between attendees). All workers, volunteers and performers (when not performing) must wear a face mask.No Restrictions
OrangeNo Restrictions – Face masks are encouraged but not required for attendees, but all workers, volunteers and performers (when not performing) must wear a face mask.No Restrictions
GreenNo RestrictionsNo Restrictions
Gathering limits under the Traffic Light System

What is not a Gathering?

Gatherings do not include:

  • Events open to non-members
  • Events with guest speakers invited
  • Events not purely of a social nature


If you are unsure which applies to your club event, then it likely a Event, and you will need to follow the Event Requirements instead.

What are Event Restrictions under each setting?

Event Held IndoorsEvent Held Outdoors
RedUp to 200 people, seated service only for food and drink
(based on 1m distancing between attendees). Face masks must be worn by everyone.
No Restrictions
OrangeNo Restrictions except workers and volunteers must wear a face mask.No Restrictions
GreenNo RestrictionsNo Restrictions
Event limits under the Traffic Light System

What are our obligations if we choose to implement Vaccine Passes?

The club are required to at a minimum sight vaccine passes. We recommend wherever possible the scans vaccine passes using the NZ Pass Verifier App:

If you are holding an event in a hospitality venue, or a public event venue, they may supply staff to verify passes. However if they do not, then as the event organiser, the responsibility will fall to the club.

If you are holding your event at Haere-roa, you will be required to provide people to scan vaccine passes, and choosing not to implement vaccine passes will incur additional cleaning costs.

What are the consequences if we don’t follow these restrictions?

Those clubs who do not follow these restrictions may face a fine of up to $15,000.

What about face coverings?

Face coverings are mandatory at indoor events at the RED setting:

  • A face covering will need to be an actual mask and attached to the head by loops around the ears or head. This means scarves, bandannas, or t-shirts should not be used.
  • Workers who are mandated to be vaccinated will need to wear a medical grade mask when working in public facing roles. For example a Type IIR/Level 2 mask or above. This includes exec members who have an official role at an event, for example ticket scanning, or vaccine pass verification.
  • Masks must be worn at food and drink businesses, close-proximity businesses, and events and gatherings. Masks can be taken off to eat, drink or exercise.

Face coverings are not mandatory, but are recommended at outdoor events at the RED setting.

What steps should we be taking to keep our exec members and attendees safe?

You should ensure you have completed all of the following points. Please note that these are MANDATORY for using a UC space:

  • You have told your exec members and attendees that vaccination passports will be required.
  • You have downloaded NZ Pass Verifier.
  • You have told your exec members and attendees that face coverings are encouraged.
  • You are verifying all exec members and attendee vaccination passports using the NZ Pass Verifier App (instructions for use here).
  • You have reminded exec members and the attendees to stay at home if they are:
    • unwell
    • waiting for a COVID-19 test result
    • self-isolating
    • a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19.
  • You have ensured that your emergency management (Hazard Risk Assessment and Management) plan for this event is up to date – see example attached at the bottom of this page.
  • You have briefed and reminded your exec members on how to practice good hygiene and have made it easy for exec members and attendees to practice good hygiene:
    • Clean shared equipment – for example microphones used by speakers.
    • Ask people who are unwell not to attend your event.
    • Attendees are reminded to always practice good coughing, sneezing and hand hygiene (resource on page 12) and have been communicated with on how to minimise the risk of getting sick at the event.
    • Checked that the venue has / is:
      • Regularly clean high touch areas – for example, door handles, handrails, counters, and shared facilities.
      • Cleaned the audience and spectator areas such as seating before and after your event
      • Has hand sanitiser/soap available in high traffic areas such as entrances, doorways, lifts, and bathroom facilities. These are refilled regularly.
  • Signage will be displayed at the event entry, near toilets and food preparation areas reminding people to practice good hygiene. A Ministry of Health poster is available to download from their website and is required to be used.

Venues other than Haere-roa / UC Spaces

What other venues can clubs use?

Flats or Homes

Even when in your flats or homes, you need to follow these rules.

At all stages, please be considerate of your neighbours.

Please also remember that all the provisions of Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 still apply, including the Place of Resort conditions. We expect Police to be very unlikely to be letting any breaches slide whilst we are under COVID-19 restrictions, which could make the club liable for serious fines of up to $20,000 if these are not adhered to.

Other venues around town

You are most welcome to reach out and attempt to run events at other venues around town. Please remember to check that they are adhering to all MBIE and Hospitality NZ guidelines.

UCSA is currently working with venues in the Ilam area to discuss what options may be available for clubs.

If you can meet all the guidelines, run your event!

If you event can meet the New Zealand COVID-19 restrictions, then your event should be able to proceed.

Whatever you do, just remember to keep yourselves, your attendees, and your event safe.

Updated on April 20, 2022

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